IS DAVID BODDY'S NEW 'MEDITATION GROUP' A CULT?

Discussion of the children's schools in the UK.
Justice
Posts: 223
Joined: Fri Jan 27, 2006 11:13 pm

IS DAVID BODDY'S NEW 'MEDITATION GROUP' A CULT?

Postby Justice » Wed Aug 31, 2011 10:10 pm

Questions are being asked following the announcement that David Boddy MA DipJ FIoD, the current Headmaster of St. James Senior Boys School and the incoming chairman of the Society of Headmasters and Headmistresses of Independent Schools, is launching a new ‘Meditation Group’ “inspired by a gathering of like-minded people who are seeking peace within themselves and who wish to deepen their experience of Oneness” according to his website at http://www.silenceonsundays.com/

He insists that the new group, named ‘Silence on Sundays’ “...is not an organisation. Nor is it under the direction or associated with any other organisation”. Presumably this also means that the group is not regulated by the Charity Commission. However, the group is being administered by Ian Wood of the “Foundation for Harmonious Living”, which is a commercial operation that offers consultations and seminars in Ayurveda for £70 per hour. See: http://www.foundation-for-harmonious-living.com/

Operating from his multi-million pound home by the River Thames, Boddy invites those interested to ask themselves:
Do I feel the need for more inner rest and peace?
Am I open to trying something new and fresh?
Would I be prepared to practise quietly in silence for long periods and then be happy to share my discoveries with a group of like-minded people?


He says that “There will be opportunities later on to spend longer periods in silence at retreats for those who might wish it.” but he doesn't give further details.

Boddy claims that their will be no money to pay for involvement in the group explaining: “And why is there no charge? Because silence belongs to us all and comes free. Like ourselves.”

The website goes on to mention that Boddy “has studied philosophy and meditation for many years at the School of Economic Science in London”.

Secret Cult, a 1984 book by Peter Hounam and Andrew Hogg, alleged that the School of Economic Science was a secretive cult 'penetrating the corridors of power’.

The London Evening Standard described the SES as “a harsh and highly secretive religious Cult with extraordinary influence over its members”.

In 2005, following complaints from a number of former St James Schools pupils on a discussion forum and elsewhere, the Governors of the St James Schools initiated an Inquiry into allegations of mistreatment of children, mostly during the period 1975 to 1985. The Inquiry concluded that there had been 'mental and physical mistreatment' of children, including 'criminal assaults' by some teachers, who were members of the School of Economic Science.

In 2006 the London Evening Standard again reported that:
“Pupils were systematically beaten by teachers at a group of “cult” independent schools, an inquiry has revealed. Children at one of the St James Independent Schools, then in Kensington, were targeted between 1975 and 1985 by teachers “unable to control tempers”. A barrister has found boys were punched, kicked and “thrown around”. Police say no investigation would be launched without individuals coming forward.”

With the forum's then rapid growth, and following the inquiry, Channel 4 News investigated the St James Schools and SES in 2006: http://reference.ses-forums.org/?p=18

The actress Clara Salaman has published a novel "based on her own experiences growing up at the secretive St James School of The School Of Economic Science".
See: http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/ ... ra-salaman

Today, according to the St. James Independent Schools website, around a third of the staff at the Senior Boys School, including the Headmaster, have themselves studied at The School of Economic Science and 10% of the children at St James come from families with connections to the SoES.
See: http://www.stjamesschools.co.uk/seniorb ... us-history

Exactly why David Boddy is launching his “Meditation Group” at this point in time remains to be seen.

woodgreen
Posts: 219
Joined: Wed Feb 03, 2010 7:07 pm

Re: IS DAVID BODDY'S NEW 'MEDITATION GROUP' A CULT?

Postby woodgreen » Thu Sep 08, 2011 11:56 pm

Short answer to your new thread Justice - yes DB's new group is a cult - an extension of the SES cult and an extension of him. I lived in Richmond for a while, but hey very expensive area.So I left. Best thing I ever did. Boddy must be plying his Christian meditation - hence his connection to Sinclair et al, and the C of E, and money. Money can be very seductive or very threatening depending how they choose to use it. And the likes of Boddy play hard and dirty. cheers, woodgreen.
Ex-SES Member. (Member for 3 years in late nineties).

Justice
Posts: 223
Joined: Fri Jan 27, 2006 11:13 pm

Re: IS DAVID BODDY'S NEW 'MEDITATION GROUP' A CULT?

Postby Justice » Fri Sep 09, 2011 6:53 am

DAVID BODDY'S "TEACHER" EXPOSED BY CANADIAN NATIONAL NEWSPAPER

On his new 'Meditation Group' website, David Boddy says that:

"Teachers from whom inspiration has been drawn include Shantananda Saraswati, Swami Shyam....."

Canada's leading national newspaper, The Globe and Mail, ran a front page "expose" of Swami Shyam in which it was alleged that:

"Over the past two years, Swami Shyam's largely Canadian following based in the mountain town of Kullu has dwindled amid accusations that the supposedly celibate guru has been engaged sexually for decades with his most attractive female devotees, and that some of his disciples in Canada used meditation centres in Montreal, Ottawa and Winnipeg to lure young women into a form of sexual devotion.

Swami Shyam strongly denied the accusations, but five women now living in North America and Europe have given detailed accounts of what they allege were long-running affairs with the man.

Those who have left the ashram believe that the swami has broken one of the main principles of their meditation movement -- that celibacy, in an ancient Hindu ascetic tradition, is essential to channelling bodily energy to a spiritual quest.

They also believe that the guru abused his authority over many followers and neglected others, including a group of Canadian youths who grew up at the ashram and were involved in drug abuse."

You can read the entire article at: http://www.swamishyam.com

See also the Globe and Mail Website Link at:
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/search/? ... uery=*%3A*

woodgreen
Posts: 219
Joined: Wed Feb 03, 2010 7:07 pm

Re: IS DAVID BODDY'S NEW 'MEDITATION GROUP' A CULT?

Postby woodgreen » Fri Sep 16, 2011 11:47 pm

Hi Justice - yes, it looks like Boddy is forming yet another group of people who will be led down the garden path to cultdom. When will he ever learn? He is the final snake in the grass - uses the British Conservative establishment plus the SES cult and McLaren's old hard line - and hey he's now thinking he's immune from investigation. Not so in my view - either financially or spiritually. He will never control or convince me he is of some spiritual good. A money man with himself at the forefront and trying to continue the cult of of the SES and using East and West, - a user of all religions. Silence on Sundays will be proved as another offshoot of the SES. Not a good man in my view is Boddy - uses all for his own ends. regards, woodgreen.
Ex-SES Member. (Member for 3 years in late nineties).

Justice
Posts: 223
Joined: Fri Jan 27, 2006 11:13 pm

Re: IS DAVID BODDY'S NEW 'MEDITATION GROUP' A CULT?

Postby Justice » Sun Sep 02, 2012 12:49 pm

Does anyone have any information on who has been recruited into David Boddy's new 'Meditation Group'?

Are any pupils from St.James Independent Schools and/or their parents being recruited?

http://www.silenceonsundays.com/

actuallythere
Posts: 180
Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2009 3:05 pm

Re: IS DAVID BODDY'S NEW 'MEDITATION GROUP' A CULT?

Postby actuallythere » Sun Sep 02, 2012 1:06 pm

No idea. But just saw he opened a Yorkshire branch http://www.silenceonsundays.com/groups/westyorkshire

and that everyone is free to open their own cell :-) http://www.silenceonsundays.com/groups

That's the old decentralized model used by SES, which makes it quite different to many other spiritual groups.

Justice
Posts: 223
Joined: Fri Jan 27, 2006 11:13 pm

Re: IS DAVID BODDY'S NEW 'MEDITATION GROUP' A CULT?

Postby Justice » Sun Sep 02, 2012 7:36 pm

According to the blurb on the "Silence on Sundays" website:

"Silence on Sundays is NOT an organisation. It is an idea, inspired by a gathering of like-minded people who are seeking peace within themselves and who wish to deepen their experience of Oneness."

It would be interesting to know if any donations are requested or if any money changes hands.

As it is "NOT an organisation" then they wont be required to file accounts with the Inland Revenue or with the Charity Commission.

woodgreen
Posts: 219
Joined: Wed Feb 03, 2010 7:07 pm

Re: IS DAVID BODDY'S NEW 'MEDITATION GROUP' A CULT?

Postby woodgreen » Wed Sep 12, 2012 11:10 pm

Hi Justice

I reckon Boddy wants out of the SES, but hasn't got the guts to get out. Still hanging on to his male macho spirit.

Silence on Sundays is Boddy's way of not doing his job - which was, after the Inquiry, to reconcile.
Nasty man, Lambie. Boddy won't do the reconcilation either.Both nasty men.

And Lambie, leader, liken McLaren, nasty man.


woodgreen.
Ex-SES Member. (Member for 3 years in late nineties).

Jo-Anne Morgan
Posts: 64
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2005 11:23 pm

Re: IS DAVID BODDY'S NEW 'MEDITATION GROUP' A CULT?

Postby Jo-Anne Morgan » Thu Sep 13, 2012 10:09 am

Take a look at this:

Mr Boddy, who has served as the Headmaster of St James Senior Boys for the past nine years, has announced he will retire at the end of this academic year. Mr Boddy has overseen a number of significant changes at St James, most notably the move to our current site in 2010. His hard work and dedication to the school means he will be leaving it in a strong and secure position, with a continued focus on a philosophically inspired education. While he will miss working with the pupils at St James, Mr Boddy is looking forward to pursuing other interests, including writing books on education, meditation and the spiritual and emotional care of young people. In addition to this he has been asked to advise a group of benefactors who are keen to establish international schools modelled on the initiatives established by the St James founder, Leon MacLaren. The Governors have noted they are enormously grateful to Mr Boddy and that the current school owes much to his dedication and inspiration.

At:
http://www.stjamesschools.co.uk/seniorboys/news/index.php?blogid=1

Leaving to spend more time with his new cult possibly?

woodgreen
Posts: 219
Joined: Wed Feb 03, 2010 7:07 pm

Re: IS DAVID BODDY'S NEW 'MEDITATION GROUP' A CULT?

Postby woodgreen » Mon Sep 17, 2012 2:57 am

Thanks for posting this Jo-Anne. End of an era in the SES if Boddy is really leaving.

Maybe he got frightened in himself because as the PR Man on TV etc. he failed to deliver reconciliation.
And St. James in Ashford is still under the microscope.
His Silence on Sundays maybe his way out, but still not to be trusted as an offshoot of the SES.

xx woodgreen
Ex-SES Member. (Member for 3 years in late nineties).

actuallythere
Posts: 180
Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2009 3:05 pm

Re: IS DAVID BODDY'S NEW 'MEDITATION GROUP' A CULT?

Postby actuallythere » Mon Sep 17, 2012 6:46 am

Woodgreen,

As far as I'm aware Boddy left SES well over a year ago, but continued at St. James until now.

According to people I know who are still members, there has been a mass departure over the last three or four years amounting to about 50% of the membership quitting, with many of the others effectively 'downgrading' their membership by re-writing their wills to cut out SES (having been persuaded to bequeath 25%, which appears to have been the going rate), refusing to be pushed into time commitments they don't want to make and just attending the things they want to.

My interpretation of the cause for this exodus is not only the public testimonies and discussion (much on this forum) but also that Lambie has initiated such enormous policy changes over the last few years that many zealots simply don't get from SES what they used to. They're being weaned off the strong stuff and they don't like it.

Of course, both Lambie's policy changes and Boddy's departure may well have been a response to the public testimonies and discussion. Both may have become more aware of what was really going on in their own minds and in the group all along, just like others of lower social status in the group who simply quit after seeing things that they had been blind to for years or even decades of membership.

Personally I think it's possible that some of the leadership were just as deluded as the general long-term membership, they might not have been quite as aware of what they were doing as some of us - myself included - have often thought. It's worth considering that they were emotionally very needy, so much so that it blinded them before they went and blinded others.

Justice
Posts: 223
Joined: Fri Jan 27, 2006 11:13 pm

Re: IS DAVID BODDY'S NEW 'MEDITATION GROUP' A CULT?

Postby Justice » Mon Sep 17, 2012 9:58 am

Woodgreen wrote:

According to people I know who are still members, there has been a mass departure over the last three or four years amounting to about 50% of the membership quitting, with many of the others effectively 'downgrading' their membership by re-writing their wills to cut out SES (having been persuaded to bequeath 25%, which appears to have been the going rate)


I have heard of a case where a woman joined the SES and gave 'houseroom' to a couple of members of the Cult.

Her husband didn't share her enthusiasm for the group and after a while the situation became intolerable for him, the marriage broke down and he was effectively forced to leave the marital home. After they were divorced, the wife promptly 'donated' the house to the Cult.

Ex Cult members who feel they have suffered from 'undue influence' at the hands of Cults can seek legal redress. Also, family members who feel that their relatives have been deceived into making large donations and who have themselves been effectively disinherited as a result can consider suing the Cult.

Below are links to a couple of law firms (one in the U.K. and one in the U.S.) who handle this type of Cult related case:

http://www.kirbyandco.co.uk/civil.html

http://www.paulmorantz.com

actuallythere
Posts: 180
Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2009 3:05 pm

Re: IS DAVID BODDY'S NEW 'MEDITATION GROUP' A CULT?

Postby actuallythere » Mon Sep 17, 2012 3:07 pm

Thanks Justice. The link to Kirby & Co is especially interesting reading.

Jeremy Sinclair, Donald Lambie, please take note:

Pioneers in Undue Influence

Our leadership in this area gives our practice a national and international profile. Working closely with various charitable organisations, we are an important part of the support network for victims of deception, entrapment or extortion.

Kirby & Co. usually acts in one of two ways. Either we are instructed by victims’ families, or else directly by the victims themselves. In the first instance, our priority is damage limitation: putting both people and property beyond the grasp of the group or guru. This is especially important where children are involved, and our expertise in family matters is frequently invaluable. In the second instance, when acting for victims who have come to see themselves as such, our challenge is to recover damages. The financial loss – not to mention the psychological and social fallout – can be extensive; many clients have been rendered penniless by their ordeal.

In representing them and their families, we are leaders in the evolving field of law known as ‘undue influence’. We have had notable successes both at trial and in securing advantageous settlements out of court.


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